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Hi all,
Things are finally starting to move quickly.
With respect to the house. As you know, last motsei Shabbat we got the keys. On Wednesday I met with Chezi at the Iriya and changed over the Arnona (council/house tax) to our name. I also filled in a form which will give us half price arnona for 6 months as nobody will be living there. The rubbish has also gone (I told Chezi that according to the contract this is his responsibility and that our builder is quoting 5000NIS to clear it up. It would be cheaper if he did it himself – which he did by putting it all on the street and letting the dustmen (garbage workers) clear it away.)
The last thing that we needed to sort out with Chezi was the post box which he insisted was his. We spoke to the post office and showed them the contract and they have changed the lock for us. This service cost about 45NIS and takes 3 days. We still do not know the number of the box – but we can find out from the sorting office without too much difficulty.

On to contractors. We went to see the cheaper contractor’s work and were not impressed. We then spent a lot of time chatting to many of one of the contractors English-speaking clients who were all spoke very highly of him and his work. We also went to see his work in two of his clients in Modiin and agreed that his work was excellent. Everyone says that he stands by his work and that he will come back to fix any issues without any difficulty. This is hard enough to find in the UK – let alone in Israel. Therefore in the end we decided to choose him (Yaniv Smadar) and his details will be in the support page. He has ordered the insurance (which takes up to 3 days to come through) and after that he will start the demolition work (probably on Monday or Tuesday) and will take 3-4 weeks.

On the shopping front. After getting another quote we have ended up with the Hermetix doors. There was an added dimension that was initially hidden from us. Tamar and Moti (manager at the shop we are getting our tiles/plumbing goods) arranged for the Hermetix contact to meet us in Moti’s store in Tel Aviv on Friday – but he refused as he doesn’t work on Fridays. they then tried to arrange to meet in Yerushalyim next week but he won’t travel to Jerusalem except for measuring exact door sizes. Both Tamar and Moti complained (Moti is a Hermetix retailer and Tamar obviously orders a lot of doors for her clients) late on Thursday night and this is ended up with one of the top bosses in Hermetix who took over as the sales rep for us and said he would meet us on Friday. In the end he apologised profusely as he couldn’t cancel a family commitment and therefore couldn’t come. We are meeting him next week probably in Tel Aviv when shopping there anyway. In addition to this, they realised that the quotes given were 600NIS less that the correct quote per interior door. This is a nice saving for us of over 6000NIS as they are keeping to the original quote. Supposedly the person that miscalculates our doors did the exact same error with another of Tamar’s client. We haven’t yet seen how good the doors are in the house (obviously) but we are definitely happy that they are keeping to their word.

We have now chosen all our floor and bathroom wall tiles. We have also chosen all our sinks, baths, showers, taps and toilets. All Tamar needs to do now is work out how much we need of each tile so we can get a final amount. On top of this we have selected the appropriate grout colours and ceasar stone which is going to be used for all finishing touches and shelving in the bathrooms.

We have also started to work on our kitchen design. We have the floor tiles decided, we have chosen a possible splashback and have almost definitely decided on a 100cm Ilve Range Oven. We are also going to go with European style 60x60cm fridge and freezer as this basically gives more space (and looks better in our view) that the American style fridges. It is funny that when we were in the UK Adam always wanted an American fridge but now that we have had one for 4 years we are happy to return back to our old style appliances.
We have started to look at the cabinet doors. The options are formica, polymer or wood. We are definitely not doing formica (this is the cheapest and strongest option – but is not very customisable). Polymer is in the middle in cost, strength and ability to customise and wood is the most expensive and least durable. We like the wood the most – but have to decide if approximately a 20% premium on the doors is a worthwhile cost. We are going to spend a lot of time this evening looking at many different designs on-line (houzz.com) and hopefully moving on in this aspect of our house.

We think this a lot for just a week as we have also paid our lawyer and a deposit on the doors.
The only thing planned for next week is the start of work next week and some design research on-line.
Bye for now.

Adam & Joelle.